Travel Agencies Unveil Problems in the Sector
On July 9, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan Aziz Abduhakimov and Chairman of the State Committee for Tourism Development Bakhtiyor Umarov met with actors in the travel industry – members of the Association of Private Tourist Organizations of Uzbekistan.
During the event, participants discussed novelties in the sphere regulation, namely, concerning the procedure for collecting tourist fees in Uzbekistan introduced by the Cabinet of Ministers on May 29, 2018.
The market participants raised questions about the new differentiated rates of payment of the tourist fee that entered into force from this June. In this regard, the officials explained the main purpose of the innovation, which is that a differentiated scale of tourist collection is introduced to bring the tourist fee in accordance with the types, sizes of accommodation facilities and the prices of their rooms on the basis of studying foreign experience, including the collection for small accommodation facilities, and for hotels with a room fund exceeding 40 units and the types of more than ‘three-star’ hotels – a relatively large amount of tourist fees.
The objectives and directions of expenses of the Tourism Support Fund, which receives tourist fees levied on foreign tourists, were discussed in detail.
Also, the main provisions of the new concept on reforming the tax system of Uzbekistan were considered. In particular, the participants noted the issue of maintaining benefits for tourism entities, including their exemption from VAT in order to prevent rise in the price of the package.
Among issues deliberated on were those related to the participation of international electronic booking systems (booking.com, hotels. com) in the travel market of the country and their influence on the competitiveness of the services of tour operators of Uzbekistan, as well as the conditions for booking and purchasing railway tickets in Uzbekistan, factors impeding the development of outbound tourism in Uzbekistan.